Some of us remember the time when giving up personal info on the internet was absolutely unheard of. If you wanted to create an account on any given website, you were expected to protect your privacy as much as possible, using pseudonyms, almost never giving up your location, date of birth or anything similar. That was the norm.

Fast forward 10 years or so -- everyone using the internet has surrendered their full name, address, date of birth, location and pretty much everything else on countless places all over the web. Why?

An invasion of privacy

A study conducted by the Pew Research Center revealed that Americans "view their private data as a form of digital currency." Which means, people are willing to #Give up their personal info, as long as they're getting something in return.

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Te study found that only 33% of Americans would be willing to post their pictures and #personal data on social media websites and receive targeted ads in exchange for free use of the service. This is quite paradoxical, since Facebook, the most popular social media website on the internet, is known for sending targeted ads to their users.

Most people are not fully aware what they're signing up for and how much personal info they are giving up. Corporations are aware of this, which is the main reason they have, gradually and through various means of propaganda, conditioned us into believing giving up our privacy is perfectly normal. Why? So they could send laser-targeted ads to demographics they pick. Ads that convert. Profit, predictably, is the main motif, albeit not the only one. What's the other one then?

Control

Anything the average internet user has ever written or done on the internet can be traced back to them. We live in an Orwellian society already, no matter how many of us deny it.

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Profit may be the main motif, but controlling the population has never been easier. Governments and corporations can spread targeted propaganda freely, without ever facing the consequences of their actions. And not only that, they can, have and will abuse the fact that we voluntarily give up our privacy.

They are not breaking any laws doing this. This is perfectly legal. Naturally, this poses a completely legitimate question: Why do we voluntarily give up our privacy and doesn't this give them the right to use it? There is, of course, a catch. Try signing up for almost any website (sign into your Google account, for example) and you will be asked to provide your full name and phone number. There are ways to bypass this, but the majority of the population is not tech-savvy enough to go through countless hoops in order to purchase something online or create a social media account. #Internet Privacy